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Old 06-03-2009, 07:32 PM   #1
sam o nela
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Default CAI vs Short Ram...an un-scientific approach...

Cold Air Intake and Short Ram Intake....

Which is better? Cold air or more air? The answer is "both." You want to have more filter area, but you also want to be bringing in cool air from outside of the engine bay. How much cooler? Well, see for yourself.

In all of the following pictures, the fender well where the air filter is housed is represented by the Temp Gauge on the left while the engine bay's temperature is represented on the right.

I warmed up the car to normal operating temperature (allowed the fans to come on twice) and then drove around for a while before officially starting to record the temperatures. Outside ambient temperature during the test was about 60 degrees F (it was much more chilly today than it's been for a while).

First: Allowed to idle for 5 minutes



The underhood temperature fluctuated between 130 and 135 which coincided with the fans coming on. It was definitely interesting to watch

Second: Cruise for 7-10 minutes at 45 mph


Both temperatures dropped significantly. The fender temp went as low as 65. But they both leveled off around these temps (67 and 89) before I finally took the pic.

Third: Cruise at lower, neighborhood speeds. 30 mph for about 10 minutes.


Engine bay temp rose back up though it was still quite cooler than at idle. The fender temp rose, at most, a mere 5 degrees.

UPDATE
Took a trip to Simi Valley today. 70-80 mph the whole way (30 minutes on the highway) at 75 degrees ambient temperature.

Cruise at Highway Speeds for 30 minutes


The temp leveled off and stayed at this temp even as the outside temperature rose from the beach to the valley. It also stayed fairly steady while the engine was under load while going up a steep 3-mile grade...

Heat Soak Max


After a 30 minute highway run and sitting outside in 75 degree weather, this was the max temp reached in the fender well and under the hood...

Night time cruise home on Highway (30 minutes, same route)


Temperature was about 60 degrees at 70-80 mph the whole way.

Now for my setup:

C25a Manual Tranny with Homemade CAI:


Cold Air Intake is built from 4 90 degree elbows of PVC





Now for some Mythbusting:
It has been debated on many a car forum whether PVC is suitable for intake construction. It's a well known fact that when heated, PVC can melt, deform, and (worst of all) start to release fumes that can be toxic to both engine and occupant. Some say it WILL AND DOES happen, while others argue that the engine bay just doesn't get hot enough.

Well I decided to go straight to the horse's mouth. I asked a contractor what the temp rating of this PVC was. He was stumped. He called the manufacturer and we were informed that this particular PVC is rated up to 180 degrees for safe use. At 210+ degrees it will start to release the fumes. As the temps continue to rise, it will start to lose its shape and eventually start to melt.

One thing that I found interesting was that the company also produces ABS and stated that although it has a higher temperature rating, once it DOES begin to melt is releases fumes that are FAR MORE TOXIC than those released by PVC. Hmmmm.....

So if your car ever catches fire, head for the hills...or at least inform the fire department of the health hazard.

Anyhow, this material will only be temporary for me as I have something better waiting in the wings. But I digress...

I have another part to this un-scientific experiment that I will have to add to this thread at a later time. In short, I will be adding cold air to the stock air box in an attempt to stop biting my nails thinking about hydrolock come the first heavy rain storm.

For now, though, it looks like CAI > SRI (but I didn't have to tell you that now did I?)

UPDATE:

I went ahead and replaced the Intake today with the original plumbing with the exception of the hose after the filter box (my factory hose has gone to heaven).

I have also left out the resonator in the fenderwell and sealed off the air duct on the side of the battery. This will force the air to come in through the fenderwell.









So here are the results:

Today's temperature is much warmer than Friday's original test. The ambient temperature is 80 degrees.

I stuck the temperature probe into the air box and stuffed it into one of the filter pleats so as to avoid it touching the hot metal sides, then closed the box.

Same as before, I let the car warm up and then drove it around for a while before I started documenting the temperatures. Air box temp on the left, engine bay temps on the right.

45 mph


30 mph


5 Minutes at Idle


30 minutes of Heat Soak


So as you can see, the air box is somewhat warmer than the CAI. The CAI's filter is always in the fender and is thus always exposed to the cooler air much quicker whereas the Airbox (when sitting at a light for example) will heat up quite a bit and thus demands about 30 seconds to bring in the cooler outside air. Also, the airbox does slightly take away from the top end that the CAI allows through faster, higher air flow.

However, if it is cold air you seek, this setup WILL bring you cold air....also, this setup with the stock plumbing virtually eliminates the possibility of hydrolock during a flooding situation. I know that bypass valves are available, but regardless, I don't think air filters were meant to run while completely soaked. As with most things in life, it is a trade off...but I feel that a little bit of top end is a small price to pay for piece of mind...now to modify some smoother flowing piping to replace the stock stuff

Well ladies and gentle man here is the AEM bypass valve...



Unfortunately, with our already tight engine compartments, you will have to get creative on just where you place it....mine is just barely rubbing on one of the wire's rubber boots. No big deal I think....

Glad to have my CAI back on!

And since I had everything out, I also went ahead and upgraded my positive battery cable to 2 gauge, cleaned all the grounds on the negative cable (will be upgrading that wire soon too...have to find a suitable terminal for the frame ground), and I had to replace a leaky clutch fluid line.

She runs great to say the least

Now I'm just waiting for that AEM dry filter

Last edited by sam o nela; 06-03-2009 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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http://www.modified.com/tech/0104scc...lve/index.html

Tested: AEM Air-Bypass Valve
How does it perform?
By Dave Coleman
Photography by Dave Coleman

Acura NSX Rear Drivers Side View AEM Bypass Valve Test



It doesn't happen often, but it doesn't have to. One heavy rain, one deep puddle, and you can have one serious engine failure. It has been happening ever since cold-air intakes first started taking hold in the mid '90s. Slurp, BANG. End of engine.

Cold air makes more power--nobody can argue with thermodynamics--but cold air often comes at a risk. Most cold air intakes pull air from a filter placed very close to the ground, where air passing under the car can be used to feed the engine, rather than air that has already passed through the radiator and bounced off various hot engine parts. This location leaves the filter vulnerable to water.


The solution to the hydro-lock problem is this simple bypass valve that allows air in through this small foam filter when the main filter is submerged.

Water is dangerous for one simple reason. It isn't compressible. An engine works simply as an air pump, drawing air in, compressing it, burning some fuel, and pumping it out. And it does so with a vengance. With the throttle closed and the engine idling, the cylinders are trying so hard to fill themselves with air that they pump the manifold down to a vacuum of over 20 inches of mercury. What's that mean? Quite simply, vacuum is measured in terms of how far up a tube that vacuum would suck a liquid. Mercury is an extremely dense liquid, so sucking it 20 inches up a tube takes a very strong vacuum. If you replace that mercury with water, that same vacuum would draw water over 22 feet straight up! What that means is, no matter how long your intake pipe is, if you stick the end of it under water, that water will get sucked into your engine.

OK, so what's the big deal? Think about what happens next. Say you have a 2.0-liter engine, so each cylinder displaces 500cc. If just one of those cylinders sucked in just 100cc of water (100cc is only 5 percent of what's in a 2-liter bottle, if you are having problems thinking metrically) the end would be very, very near.If this engine has 10.0:1 compression, for example, the combustion chamber would be reduced to just 55.5cc when the piston is at top dead center. As the piston goes up the compression stroke with 100cc of water in the cylinder, impending doom is near. Air will happily compress as the piston moves up, but water will not. As soon as the combustion chamber is reduced to 100cc, the piston will stop. No matter what. And then the engine will stop... if you are lucky.


Underneath the foam cover is this series of rubber flap doors that are normally sealed closed.

Sometimes, if the engine is simply idling, the flywheel is relatively light, and the connecting rods, pistons, block, head, and head gasket are very strong, the engine will simply stop dead and can be revived by removing all the spark plugs and pumping out the water. Usually, however, the rotating assembly will have too much inertia and when the water tries to stop the piston, all hell breaks loose. Either the connecting rod buckles, or the piston breaks, or the cylinder wall cracks, or the head gasket blows, or the cylinder head gets lifted off the block, or any combination of catastrophic failures will occur. The only thing guaranteed is that the water will not compress.

Most cold air intake manufacturers, AEM included, have offered the following solution in the past: When it rains, simply remove the lower section of the intake, remove the air filter, and attach the filter to the upper section of the intake where it can act as a conventional underhood intake until the rain stops.

]img]http://image.modified.com/f/tech/15582650+pinline_medium/0104scc_tested04.jpg[/img]
The vacuum created in the intake system when the filter is submerged in water forces the flaps open. This is how the valve looks when feeding an NSX at full throttle. It takes significantly less of an opening to feed an Integra idling through a deep puddle.

Yeah, right.

Show me one person willing to do this every time it rains and I'll show you somebody who just missed the prom. The real solution is to avoid puddles like the plague and never drive fast in the rain.

This is why we have traditionally been timid about using cold-air intakes on our project cars. We have done it many times, since the power benefits are indisputable, but it always makes us nervous. AEM has just released an air-bypass valve that calms our nerves considerably.

Surprisingly simple in construction, but quite sophisticated in design, the AEM air-bypass valve sits upstream of the air filter and normally does nothing. If the filter gets submerged in water, however, there will be a slight vacuum in the pipe as the engine tries to suck the water up the pipe. This slight vacuum opens up 12 rubber flaps in the air-bypass valve, allowing the engine to breathe air through the bypass valve's small foam filter. When the water level drops, the vacuum goes away and the main filter supplies air again. No panic, no blown engine. How nice.


We ran Concialdi's NSX through a full, third-gear dyno pull with the filter submerged. The water was drawn up the pipe by over a foot, but it never came near the engine. When we lifted the filter out of the water during the pull, air was drawn in the main filter and tossed the trapped water around in a terrifying display of physics, but again, no water reached the engine.

When we heard about the bypass valve, we immediately wanted to test it, but none of us were willing to volunteer our cars. So we hatched an idea. John Concialdi designed the bypass valve, so let's use his car. We asked (knowing that his car is an NSX), and to our surprise, he agreed without hesitation.

To be clear, AEM doesn't make an intake with an air-bypass valve for an NSX, and, in fact, the valve isn't considered big enough to supply air for such a large engine, but Concialdi was confident that there was enough headroom in his design to allow his car to survive unscathed.

We cooked up a test that would replicate the absolute worst case senario: an underwater drag race. Dipping your filter into a puddle while idling into a driveway is one thing, but fully submerging it and then opening up the throttle and making full power is something else entirely. And if that full power happens to be 250 hp at the wheels, well... it doesn't get much worse than that.

AEM constructed a custom-made intake that came out of the engine compartment, went over the fender and down to the ground next to the rear wheel. We put the NSX on the dyno at R&D Dyno service with this intake in place and put the filter in a fish tank full of water.

All right, Concialdi, let's see what she can do.

To our delight, the dyno pull was quite uneventful. AEM was thoughtful enough to make the first few feet of intake piping from clear plastic, allowing us to see what happened with the water. At first, the water rose just a few inches up the pipe, but when the big VTEC cam engaged and the engine's appetite for air increased, water was sucked approximately 18 inches up the pipe. Still, no water reached the engine.

Next, we had Concialdi do a third-gear dyno pull while we held the filter above the fish tank and dunked it randomly in, and out of, the water. This was intended to simulate... well, an absolute idiot trying desperately to destroy their engine. Dropping the filter in the water caused the water to rise in the pipe again, but again, nothing happened. Pulling the filter out of the water with the engine still pulling hard, however, caused something rather alarming to happen. When the filter was pulled out of the water, air immediately started going through the filter, even though there was still about a foot of water in the pipe. The trapped water frothed and thrashed about in a most alarming way, raising the eyebrows on even Concialdi's staid face, but he kept his foot down and still nothing happened.

The moral of the story? Use an AEM air-bypass valve (They can be purchased separately and inserted into existing cold air intakes if you wish.) and when you pull out of the puddle, don't start racing until you have given the water enough time to drain out of the bottom of your intake.

Source
Advanced Engine Management
2205 W. 126th St
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 484-2322
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Very nice!

Very good information to know.

Only AEM makes these bypass valves?
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:41 PM   #4
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made a picture askin what the foam lookin thing was and read further afterwards. they look easy enough to make, but gettin the right kinda epoxy for the rubber inserts might be difficult seeing as how it's rubber to metal... or plastic, depending on what you make it out of.

thanx for the info. still liking the sri from autozone though. no restriction; i get the vaccuum info. though if it came out the hood so it'd be gettin the cool air, i wouldn't mind a throttlebody setup i could throw on during dryday serious runs.

for the water test, what i was worried about was that the custom intake used to be able to submerge the filter into the fish tank was extremely long... on a normal car, w/ the CAI in the fender, there's a chance that the water could make it to the Bypass Vavle. Even though i don't know many to dunk their imports into huge puddles, one day i had to drive through some pretty deep stuff in my 240... i was worried to say the least. unless the CAI is designed with Gravity helping the water drain, there's still a chance the water could be sucked into the engine even with the bypass... right? i mean, if you were stuck in traffic, and you came up to a puddle that you thought was shallow but ended up being deep... even at idle in an older import that needed a rebuild... well, it's getting a little too hypothetical now but nevertheless, it's a question that makes me wonder about it. 18 inches could reach the bypass if it wasn't located correctly and the routing was bad. i like driving in the rain, it's fun.

other thing i was wondering about was that if you're doing a 3rd gear pull in any car, and you happen to go into a large puddle that submerges the CAI.. wouldn't the Bypass not only put some serious strain on the engine caused by the restricted airflow (in the form of lack of power i guess...?) but also pretty much shove the water up past the Bypass?

wouldn't an intercooler just be safer all together? but then you get into money vs. performance.

Last edited by ochn77; 06-08-2009 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #5
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Best thing to do is relocate the battery to the trunk and build a cold air box where the filed sits in and draws air through the hole in the fender.

The bypass valve works great I think and the way our CAIs are setup, they shoot straightup about 7 inches, make two immediate 90 degree turns, go about another foot and hit one more 90 degree turn at the throttle body so I think drainage is not a problem. Anyone with any car shouldn't really be driving with a CAI in a severe storm (abstinence is the only true 100% method) but the bypass valve is definitley cheap insurance.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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http://www.aemintakes.com/air_bypass_valve.htm

I gave AEM a call and the guy told me you could buy the ABV's seperately. They run 60 -70 bucks =D
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
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Ram air intakes are also a great performance boost (if you drive at some speed)
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaysus! View Post
http://www.aemintakes.com/air_bypass_valve.htm

I gave AEM a call and the guy told me you could buy the ABV's seperately. They run 60 -70 bucks =D
Yeah I know...I think I got mine for like $30-$40 on Ebay...keep an eye open because they come up pretty often....just be sure to get a genuine AEM one with the right diameter size for your piping...
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:51 PM   #9
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So Ram intakes are for high speeds?
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:16 PM   #10
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If you want to suck up hot air from the engine
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